Starfish versus “Dolly the Sheep”- where’s the telomere reset switch?

Ed Park, MD dr ed park, research, Telomere erosion 0 Comments

“It’s not nice to fool mother nature” or so the old Chiffon Margarine commercial said.


Well, the joke’s on us still because when humans clone animals, the clones’ telomere lengths aren’t reestablished at a youthful age. That’s why the first cloned sheep, “Dolly”, had a telomere age and physiology that came with the donor’s mileage.


Dolly was born “old”. She was margarine, not butter.

In contrast, new research published in Heredity showed that starfish that reproduce by cloning versus those that reproduce sexually, have longer telomeres by some reset mechanism that we haven’t yet found identified in mammals (perhaps because we haven’t known what to look for).

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Interestingly, within a single starfish with regenerated versus original arms, the same invertebrates showed longer telomeres in the regrown arms indicating that the reset was possible not just intergenerationally but within the lifespan of the same single organism.

In the years since Dolly was cloned, scientists have since created INDUCED PLURIPOTENT CELLS (IPS) by activating genes that caused a de-differentiation of adult cells into more primitive embryonic-like cells, an action that triggers a mysterious telomere length resetting. This IPS research won the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 2012.

If such a telomere reset function were something we could trigger in the healthier of our existing stem cells at a younger age, it might be able to radically extend our healthy lifespans.

To recap, own cloning efforts are still associated with shortened telomeres because we haven’t found the reset but this is an issue that doesn’t exist with starfish reproduction and limb regeneration. In contradistinction, it is only when mammals reproduce sexually that the reset switch is thrown and so that offspring can be endowed with full lifespans and long telomeres.

Ed Park, MD
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Ed Park, MD

I graduated from Harvard with honors in Biological Anthropology prior to earning my Medical Degree and Masters in Public Health from Columbia University.

In 2007, I became the nineteenth patient to sign up for the use of a herbally-extracted telomerase activator.

The results were so positive that I founded Recharge Biomedical Clinic in 2008 and have since become the leading medical expert in this exciting new field of regenerative medicine treating over 1,300 patients with this exciting new telomerase activation medicine.

I won two Houston Film Festival Awards for my screenplays about Hypatia of Alexandria and Ed Brown of Kentucky.

In 2010 I wrote and self-published a Sci-Fi Graphic Novel called MAXIMUM LIFESPAN

In 2013, I wrote and published "Telomere Timebombs; Defusing the Terror of Aging"

My websites are: (where you can learn about my RECHARGE adaptogenic supplement) and

You can sign up for my weekly blogs on this page and subscribe to my YouTube videos at
Ed Park, MD
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